We’ve never painted a room before. Being cream-walled-apartment dwellers for years, painting was one of the things we were most excited about when it came to making our home “our own.”
You may remember weeks and weeks ago we shared a swatch we were considering for our laundry room color right after we got the floors tiled. Well, four more paint samples and two months later, we finally chose a color!
Our thought process was:
-Well we plan for most of the rest of the house to be gray so lets do something different in the laundry room. Lets get crazy.
-Blue! That would be a good color!
-This looks like a nursery…
-Maybe a light purple-y gray to tie into the purple-y gray tones in the tile?
-This still looks like a nursery… annnnd it’s boring.
-Lets photoshop the purply gray on the whole room just to see how it would look.
-Oops, accidentally darkened the color in photoshop… wait this looks badass!
-Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes darker medium cool gray is the answer we were looking for all along!
So one day I just decided to start taping and painting. And soon realized there was a lot more prep work to be done (hence the posts about removing our old alarm wires from the windows and spackling up the holes).
I also had to fix the baseboard we broke off on day 1 of our attempts to start renovating our home. I just used some epoxy to stick it back on since that’s what the guys at Home Depot suggested. Though while I was there, I luckily got the paint of the baseboards matched so that we could do any necessary touch ups after painting the walls.
I glued the bottom edge of the broken off piece to the top edge of the still-attached piece instead of glueing the back of the broken piece to the drywall. This is because if we ever do want to replace these baseboards down the line, prying off a part that was glued to the drywall would destroy the wall.
I had to caulk over that crack and caulk along the entire top edge of our baseboards in this room. Good thing I’m a pro already. When we broke that chunk of baseboard off, it was because we thought we needed to remove our baseboards for our floor installation, so the first thing we did was use a utility knife to cut along the length of them. Oops.
So before we could paint, I taped off the area so that I’d have straight caulk lines. This required squeezing into some awkward spaces and getting really close to the floor so I could make sure the line was straight.
I caulked with white paintable caulk (a must!) and peeled my tape to reveal a straight enough line. Even though the edges pulled up a bit when I pulled my tape, it was still an improvement on the gap there used to be.
Finally, it was time to… finish prepping for paint! (seriously… so much prep involved in this). So we removed our light switch and outlet covers, including this crazy beast. I call it LEVITRON! (Yes I know it says “Leviton” but “LEVITRON” sounds much better!).
Then I just taped, taped, and taped some more. I know some more experienced DIY-ers just free-hand their edging but I am not quite that confident in my skills yet.
One problem we ran into with the taping is that our walls in this room are quite textured. We hate it. And it made taping off the ceiling quite a chore, because paint would inevitably leak under the tape and make a mess on the ceiling. Luckily we read on the frog tape website some tips for painting a straight line even when dealing with textured walls/ceilings.
First you tape off the part you aren’t painting (in our case, the ceiling) and flatten the tape the best you can using a putty knife.
Next you take the color of the surface you aren’t changing the color of (for us, the ceiling) and you paint that on the wall you ARE changing the color of (for us, the wall). Because of the texture, the paint inevitably seeped onto the ceiling, but since it’s the color of the ceiling it doesn’t matter. And when you let that dry, it creates a seal that your new wall color can’t seep through.
Is this making sense? You let the ceiling paint dry completely, then paint on your new wall color and immediately peel off the tape before the new color gets a chance to dry. Hello straight (enough) line!
Hope that tip helps anyone else dealing with old textured walls.
To tackle the room, I was on edging duty so I used a short handled angled brush to work around the windows, baseboards, doors, etc. Evan handled the roller and got the big expanses of wall.
Even with the tape, we still had a lot of touching up to do. I was glad I brought in that piece of baseboard to get a small can of our trim paint!
The good news about the touch ups is I got to try a little free-handing. The bad news is that it was oil paint and we don’t have mineral spirits (which are typically used to clean up oil paint). After some frantic googling we saw that vegetable oil helps remove it from your brushes so we tried that and it actually worked (after many rounds of swirling and rinsing, followed by a wash through with some dish soap). Phew!
After the painting was done we needed to add our new white outlet covers and a couple of doorstops, plus we needed to paint the LEVITRON so that it blended in better.
So we turned off the power to the outlets in the room and Evan went to town on em.
When we switched to the outlets on another wall in the laundry room, Evan learned a shocking surprise. As in he got shocked, and it was a surprise. Luckily he is ok after being electrocuted, but it scared the crap out of me! We had assumed that all the outlets in the room were on the same breaker. One of them was not (go figure). So lesson learned- when it comes to dealing with electrical stuff, make no assumptions.
After he got electrocuted, we decided it was time for a Dexter-watching break. But after Dexter, it was back to the
kill room laundry room. Evan finished up the last outlet (after we TRIPLE checked we switched the correct breaker off).
Meanwhile, I painted the LEVITRON and took lots of pictures and continually asked if Evan was ok after his shocking experience. When our outlets and light covers were all switched, it made SUCH a big difference in the room. Those old ones were super gross. Now I want to change ALL our outlet covers.
And now the moment you’ve been waiting for… or maybe you just scrolled through everything else til you saw the “after” pictures…. anyways, here’s our laundry room!
Ahhhhh! Isn’t it so much better than it was before?? Basically our laundry room has gone from this:
Isn’t it so much better? We were initially worried that a dark color would make the room feel smaller but it definitely doesn’t. And doesn’t LEVITRON blend in better now? We like how it pulls some of the cool gray tones from the tile too.
But our laundry room is far from finished! Painting the walls and adding the new outlets made our cream trim and cabinets oh-so-obviously cream. And we would like white. I’m kind of dreading painting trim and cabinets (I’m scurred guys), but I think it’s gotta be done. And our light fixture has gotta go. It’s a fluorescent light and it’s not so purdy.
We also want to add some wall hooks above Mochi’s cabinet to hang purses, laptop bags, etc. And we need some sort of shoe rack solution next to the door that goes into the garage. And maybe a mirror or something to make sure we don’t look crazy when we head out the door. And we still want to build some sort of shelf along the top of the washer and dryer (and down the side) to conceal all the cords and stuff.
So here is the updated laundry to-do list:
Fix part of baseboard we broke
Caulk along baseboards where we cut it
Vacuum dryer vent
Thoroughly clean washer/dryer
Add doorstopsReplace fluorescent light with something pretty
Fit Mochi’s cabinet in a way that we like (it will probably just stay where it is though)
Add wall hooks
Build shelf along top of washer/dryer
Add shoe rack
Add window treatments(?)
Replace keyed lock with a deadbolt
We’ve come a long way but the list keeps growing! We’re of course going to keep working on things around here, but we may have to cut back on the frequency posts for a little while. As you guys know I’m a freelance designer so my workload ebbs and flows, and right now it’s flowing like crazy. I am busy busy lately! There will still be 2-3 posts a week of course, and I’ll try to ramp it back up to 5 posts a week when I can, but for a little while I’ve gotta cut back on blog-writing time so I can make monies. Still love you guys though <3